AUBG Students Meet President Bush in Bulgaria

June 18, 2007

Six students from AUBG met with President George Bush on 11 June 2007 at the AUBG Elieff Center for Education and Culture in Sofia as part of his visit to Bulgaria following the G8 meeting.
The round table discussion arranged by the American Ambassador to Bulgaria, John Beyrle, and organized by Olga Borissova Director of the Elieff Center, gave 10 students from the American University in Bulgaria, the American College in Sofia, and Sofia University the unique chance to meet in person and talk informally with the President of the United States.

Nita Gojani, Stanko Stankov, Katya Georgieva, Filjor Broka, all from Class 2007, Hristina Jordanova, Class 2003, and current student Nemanja Grujicic, were in the center of the discussion. Sitting next to President Bush were Bulgarian students Stanko Stankov and Katya Georgieva.

The meeting began in the presence of the media – journalists from all leading electronic and print media had gathered in the Center’s auditorium to cover one of the liveliest and most optimistic episodes of President Bush’s stay in the country.

President Bush asked the students about their dreams and the way they see themselves 20 years from now. One by one, the students shared their education and career plans. All of them expressed their intention to continue their education in USA or Europe and come back to work for their societies, and the President encouraged them to do so.

This year’s valedictorian Filjor Broka from Albania shared his hope to help develop higher education in his country. He said he would be happy if one day students in Albania enjoyed a liberal arts institution similar to AUBG in their own country. The Presidential Medalist for 2007, Nita Gojani from Kosovo, talked about the connection between the University and her work in Kosovo for improving the interaction between Serbs and Kosovars. Nemanja Grijucic told about his plans to work for the development of the democratic institutions in his home country – Serbia. Stanko Stankov from Bulgaria mentioned his affinity for American football and his willingness to popularize the sport here.

Other topics of discussion included the value of the education they receive in Bulgaria and the business climate in the Balkans. All AUBG students spoke of the importance of the education they received at the University and the broad horizons it gave them.

An interesting moment at the beginning of the meeting was when Stanko Stankov mentioned he was having a job interview on the next day. Then President Bush turned to one of the cameras and appealed to Stanko’s potential employer saying that the young man should receive the job.

The meeting between President Bush and the students lasted almost an hour and a half, instead of the initially announced 30 minutes. When the meeting was over, students received presents from the White House and had individual photos taken with the President. The students also took away the President’s signature on their nametags. News of the event and interviews with several of the students were later broadcasted in prime time.

AUBG’s Elieff Center was the President’s last stop on Bush’s concise and busy visit in Bulgaria and the end of his eight-day tour in Europe.

Additional information here.

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